We’ve raised $16M for Luma Health’s B Round

I’m not sure I even wrote on my personal blog when we raised our A round — but here we are, about four and a half years after we founded the company, having just announced we closed our $16M B round!

The official Luma Health funding announcement blog has a lot more interesting information about the round itself. You can check out a few of the articles that have already crossed the wire, such as this one by VentureBeat or this one by HIT Consultant. I wanted my personal blog to be more of a look behind the scenes of the three parts that came together to make today happen.

On a day like today, a company is looking to do a lot of things at once to try to make noise and drive the hype — and we were no exception. Earlier in the year, our Marketing team had kicked off an effort to do a total brand overhaul, and so when we were in the process of closing Series B funding, we decided to line up the efforts of the B announcement with the brand refresh (full details on the Luma brand design blog post), and launch them at the same time so we have that the ideal 1+1=3 punch.

Doing a brand refresh is no small feat as it has a habit to spider across all parts of the organization. You have to update sales collateral, landing pages, slide decks, event booths, social pages, etc, etc — the list goes on and on. But perhaps most importantly, a brand refresh also means you’re going to be updating your entire product to match the new brand.

At Luma, we have a centralized Design team run by our Design Director. They’re responsible for all aspects of design, be it product UX/UI, brand marketing, event collateral, etc. Right or wrong, many companies will have design functions within each functional team (e.g. product designers in the VP Product org, marketing designers in the VP Marketing org, etc), but we made a choice early on to centralized design in one team that’s shared across the company.

So, we had three trains moving at the same time — press releases and media for the B announcement, new marketing website for the brand overhaul, and a new product website refresh to match. Coordinating the Lichtenstein-esque look and feel vibe throughout all the touchpoints was the responsibility of the Design team and coordinating and driving the overall projects was the responsible of the Marketing team.

The main “hard part” doing something like this is making sure all the trains arrive when you want them to, and part of that is deciding that they don’t all need to get to the station at the same time. To coordinate all the pieces, we use (of course) used Slack. We’re a zero-email company so the entire project ran through a Slack channel called #website-refresh-2019.

We launched the product updates at Monday 8/26 4:30PM PT, launched the marketing website at Monday 8/26 5:00PM PT, and then launched the press releases and cleared the news embargo at Tuesday 8/27 5:00AM PT. And like that, new website, new brand look, new product look and feel, all in support of the future growth of Luma Health, fueled by our $16M raise.

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We’ve raised $15M in funding from Kleiner Perkins

What an exciting morning — and really an exciting year here at Remind101. This morning we announced that we’ve raised $15M in funding Kleiner Perkins and John Doerr has joined our board of directors. This was the first time I was at all involved in a fund raise and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a learning experience. From the process of helping to put together the pitch deck, the models, help out on pitches and follow up it’s a pretty daunting task for any team to go through. I’m thrilled how it turned out for us and to have such an amazing partner at Kleiner in John Doerr.

If you’re interested in reading any of the coverage, here’s a list I’ll try to keep up to date:

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Goodbye Sencha (& Hello remind101)

Today was my last day at Sencha. On May 6th, I’ll be joining a very small startup in the education technology space called remind101 (remind101.com). I’ve wanted for a long time to go to a social-forward enterprise, and Remind101 was exactly that and thus I made the tough call to say goodbye. More on that in a second.

It’s been an awesome ride with a ton of excitement, launches, new products, events, community, customers, and more. I’m very excited about the future of Sencha, and the future of the frameworks and tools. For me, the opportunity to go to remind101 was so compelling that I decided to make the move.

I remember very fondly (and very stressfully) some of my favorite times at Sencha: defining our next generation products, putting on SenchaCon 2011 (the keynote, oy!), getting Ext JS 4.0 out the door, getting Architect 2.o out the door, shipping Animator 1.0 at Adobe’s MAX conference, flying 150k+ (actual, no bonus) miles in one year around the world presenting Sencha at conferences and perhaps the best part: doing a ton of writing. Being a part of the outbound face of Sencha was amazing, writing a lot of the blog, the website and the material that we used internally to move the ball forward. That, and all the thousand things I can’t remember, but loved doing.

For the folks at Sencha, I wish them all the best luck in the world. I’m rooting for you all, wishing you all the success in the world. I enjoyed so thoroughly working with you and the community that I look forward to our paths crossing again soon.

My new role is at a small company called remind101, a safe platform for parents, students and teachers to communicate. I’m still getting the public pitch down, but what got me really excited was the momentum they have and they vision the company has to help teachers. I’ve wanted to do something “that mattered” (in the social sense) for a long time and I’m excited about joining remind101 to help people. Expect me to be writing more here and on Twitter.

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Hello Sencha (& Goodbye Adobe)

This month I started a new job at Sencha, a small Silicon Valley startup that builds frameworks, tools, and services for the next web. I’m super-excited to join Sencha and to be working in a startup. Sencha has some killer frameworks (like Ext JS, Ext GWT and Sencha Touch) that make building amazing web content and web apps a breeze. The kinds of stuff you can do in the web with HTML and next generation browsers is truly stunning. I’ll be running the product management team, helping define, guide and take to market all of our products. Very exciting stuff.

Adobe’s been the smallest company I’ve worked for and I’ve always wanted to work in a real Valley startup. This was an amazing opportunity that crossed my path so I made the jump and I’ve said goodbye and thanks to Adobe. I look back at my years at Adobe very fondly — there are great people, products and customers there and I was sad to say goodbye to all my friends there. Doing a startup that I believe in made sense for me, so it’s a fond farewell to Adobe and to the Flash/AIR community. I’m super proud of the work we did shipping AIR for iPhone (aka Notus), AIR for TV (aka Stagecraft), the Mobile Distribution Service (aka Outbreak), and all the other projects, teams and efforts that continue to kick-ass.

Here’s to the next adventure! (and yes, we’re hiring!)

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New Year, New Job (Same Adobe!)

What’s a better way to start a new year than a new job? In January, I moved over from our AIR group, where I was doing iPhone stuff, to our Digital Home group, helping to bring Flash in to the Digital Home and connected living room segment.

I’ve had an amazing time working to bring AIR to the iPhone (and now the iPad!). It was a very unique opportunity to work within the company on a small, motivated, focused and talented team to bring out what was effectively a secret project and launch it at MAX. With the CS5 launch right around the corner, it’s super-exciting to see the technology ship in Flash (apparently our team is in the credits!) and get developers access to what we’ve been working on.

It’s a very exciting change and I’ve been having a blast these last three months working in the new team. We’ve been working hard to build out our strategy and get all the pieces in place to really execute and bring out a whole new set of TV experiences over the next few years. Having spent the last few weeks traveling and talking to customers it’s amazing what kind of innovation will happen in this space in the next few years. Hardware specs in TVs, Bluray Players, and set top boxes are growing rapidly which will enable content creators and developers to unlock the TV in ways we haven’t seen before. To give you some flavor of this, we’re seeing a quick move in the industry from 300MHz CPUs last year up to nearly GHz CPUs in the next 6-18 months.

So what is Adobe doing in the Digital Home space? Well, there’s some stuff that’s pretty obvious, some stuff we’ve shipped, and some stuff I can’t mention just yet. I’m lucky enough to be working with a team that has the first release under their belt which is a Flash Lite 3.1 based runtime optimized for TV-style devices. We’ve got a ton of customers building content and others shipping that content on their devices. As we go in to the year  we’ll see a lot more devices ship with Flash. Plus, we’re hard at work on the next version of our runtime and our software solution (hint: it’s a lot like we’ve done for mobile web browsing). But more details on that later!

BTW: I’ll be at NAB next week in Las Vegas if anybody is there and wants to chat about what Adobe is doing in this space. DM me @hyperionab. I’m also presenting at the theater in the Adobe booth Tuesday at 230pm in the Las Vegas Convention Center, giving a talk entitled “Extending the Adobe Flash Platform Across Screens”. It’ll also be on Adobe TV if you missed it and wanted to see it.

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Goodbye Microsoft, a Look Back, and Hello Adobe

Last Friday was my last day at Microsoft. It’s taken me a while to write this post, because I’m not really sure what to say, or what I can say to really sum up what were five amazing years with the company. I started working for Microsoft as a Student Consultant at UCSD in 2001, interned the summer of 2002 (in devdiv, the team that makes Visual Studio and .NET) and again in the summer of 2003 (in Hotmail), and the joined full time in 2003. In so many ways, the path my life has taken has been intertwined and driven in no small manner by Microsoft. I have so many good friends, good stories, and great experiences there, that it was sad to say good bye.

I remember the late nights trying to ship various versions of MSN Hotmail, fire drills dealing with live site issues. I particularly remember one were we upgraded a large number of our servers to new version of our codebase and the huge number of hours we spent debugging and testing and fighting to make things work. We ended up having a few guys from Redmond term serv to our data center, hooking up kernel debuggers and finding issues they’d never anticipated in Windows or IIS. It’s amazingly cool being part of an organization where using our own products internally make them better for our customers. It was great to be a part of the team that shipped Windows Live Hotmail (or “mail Beta” as it was called for a while), all on top of a new .NET based architecture with AJAX-y goodness. That was back in 2005, while people may not think of Microsoft as a forward thinking organization we were building the kinds of web apps people didn’t end up seeing en mass until later in 2006.

Then it was off to Shanghai for a while. What a time that was. There was so much we all learned there about building organizations, about what it means to have great people and to have a great team. I was there for nearly a year and a half, and I learned a lot more about “organizational” skills that I’d anywhere before. And I learned some Chinese! Living overseas was an experience I think everybody should have. It helps you learn so much more about who you are, and about the world we live in. We started this cool Calendar while we were there, and a year later, in November 2007 we shipped a public beta. It was a blast to see something start in Shanghai, then be part of the team in California to go live with it.

I’m waxing sentimental here, but it’s been such a fun ride, full of super smart people who love software and know what they’re doing impacts millions of people every day. I’m proud to be a part of all the teams that I’ve been in, and I know they’ll continue doing great things in the future

What’s next for me? I’ve taken a job at Adobe, in their mobile group in San Francisco. I’m really excited about what’s coming up in the mobile space and there were some really cool opportunities in Adobe to do cool things in the market. Looking around at the market, the mobile space to me feels like the Internet did in, say, 1997. Slowly opening up, with greater bandwidth to end users allowing a great wave of development and content to become a driving factor for consumers. Adobe’s in a great place in the market, already with their software (Flash Lite, etc) installed on 450m devices world wide. They’re making some moves that I found compelling and that I wanted to be a part of. This next year is going to be a crazy ride of learning a whole new segment of the tech industry and I’m looking forward to it.

Between jobs, I’ve taken two weeks off between Microsoft and Adobe. I’m halfway done with my vacation already! I’ve been spending a lot of time in coffee shops, reading, brushing up on coding (finally finding some time to work on a pet project), and cleaning up the apartment. It’s amazing how much better it looks when my frames and art are hung on the moulding and not leaning against the floor.

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Four Years at Microsoft

I just noticed that my four year anniversary at Microsoft happened over the weekend. I’m amazed how fast the time has gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was moving up from Southern California to my place in Sunnyvale, then moving up later to SF, then to China, and then back to SF. It’s been a good four years here and Microsoft has given me quite a bit in that time (crazy cool opportunities to work on cutting edge technology, travel to Helsinki, London, Tokyo, Macau, a chance to live in Shanghai). Now, it’s on to seeing what this next year will bring (I’m not dropping any hints, but we’ve got some cool new stuff coming out soon).

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The Ideal Career

Omar pointed me to this great Venn diagram of your ideal career and when to know you’re in the wrong spot or should be looking.


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